Accountant's cash woes led to fraud

Last updated 16:07 03/02/2014

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A Southland accountant who forged his bosses' signatures to get money did it because he had fallen into financial strife.

The man, who has interim name suppression, appeared before Judge David Saunders yesterday in the Invercargill District Court for sentence for fraud on November 7, 2011.

He was sentenced to three months' community detention, 120 hours' community work, ordered to pay a lump sum reparation of $19,487 to his former employer and under arrangement, to pay $200 a fortnight for the company's auditing costs of $14,666 that uncovered his fraud.

Defence lawyer Hugo Young said the offending happened after the man got into financial strife. He kept the financial problems hidden from his wife and had run up credit cards to the value of $20,000.

It was one-off offending and up until he committed the fraud, he had been an ordinary New Zealander leading an ordinary life throughout with a good character, Mr Young said.

The fraud resulted in only one transaction and it had not been picked up for some time, he said.

The additional cost to the man's former employer came when the firm undertook an audit to determine what had caused financial irregularities.

Judge Saunders said the man had been in a position of trust and had not used his adult skills to seek help and professional advice when he got into financial strife.

Judge Saunders declined an application for permanent name suppression, but Mr Young indicated he would appeal against that decision.

An interim order for name suppression was then granted until the appeal is heard.

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- The Southland Times

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